No one has made the sacrifices or carried the cost of freedom like our American military. The America you and I know is a gift — one paid for with the blood and sweat of patriots.
Memorial Day highlights the debt we owe to those true heroes, but it also reminds me of the responsibility we have to care for those who are with us today.
We send our best young men and women to other places, including dangerous countries. They have experiences most of us could never handle, and when they come home, sometimes not all of their scars are visible. Since 2001, more than 114,000 veterans have committed suicide.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I have made it my mission to make sure our veterans’ wounds do not go unnoticed. I’ve spent the last 13 years traveling and meeting with members of our military. I’ve made sure they understand this simple message: if you’re struggling, if you’re hurting, there is no shame in admitting it.
I’m not ashamed. I know what it’s like to be in a dark place, a place where it feels like nothing can get better. But, I promise you — you are NOT alone. I’m here with you. If you hurt, I’ll hurt with you. If you cry, I’ll cry with you.
We all fall short of the Glory of God. No matter how fast, strong, well-known, or accomplished you are, we are all capable of deep pain — and we cannot do enough to improve the mental health of those who are suffering. To honor the fallen, we must remember the living.
If you’re a veteran in need of immediate assistance, please speak to a mental health professional today. Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, press 1.